Developed for the Tyrolean crystal manufacturer Swarovski, the structure cleverly merges design, product development and production into one single facility. The new building type allows the company to develop innovative ways to align creative visionary processes with technical production requirements.
“The Swarovski Manufaktur sets a new standard for inclusive fabrication facilities,” says Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Founding Partner of Snøhetta, when summarizing the concept. “Bringing clients, designers, artists, researchers, machine operators, technicians and the public into one space under one roof is going to change how we think about these relationships in the future”.
Daylight enters the spacious building through openings in the ceiling, known as “cassettes”. This special ceiling construction comprises 135 openings covered with a protective solar coating that allows daylight to enter gently into the building. The self-supporting white steel ceiling consists of a repetitive 6x3-metre pattern with a slightly skewed grid. The ceiling structure integrates all necessary building services. Perforated acoustic panels covering the ceiling ensure that the building has a pleasant sound level that allows people to converse at a normal voice despite the background noise from the production facilities and machines.
The bright and welcoming atmosphere of the building interior is emphasized by the material choices. The walls are painted in white, and light birch wood panels cover the floor and the sculptural platform that is the second floor, providing an overview of the generous space of the ground floor. The light atmosphere is particularly emphasized when visitors enter the Manufaktur through a bridge from Campus 311, a new office location in an old factory building with an interior dominated by a dark color palette. In this way, the experience of moving from building to building accentuates the vivid atmosphere of the new space.
Photo credits: David Schreyer